Spotlight on Cardiff STAR

This blog was written by Maryam, Secretary of Cardiff Student Action for Refugees (STAR), a student society at Cardiff University. 

STAR- What is it?

Simply put, it stands for Student Action for Refugees and is set up across universities throughout the UK. It is a fantastic society to be a part of once you start university! Within Cardiff STAR, there are weekly conversation classes. Students meet refugees and asylum seekers and have a chance to get to know them, whilst also helping them practice their English-speaking skills.

Joining university, moving cities and sometimes countries can be very challenging and a completely new experience. Through joining Cardiff STAR, I definitely felt more at ease with the whole transition. The weekly conversations means that you get to see both students and learners regularly and form connections and fast friendships.

There are always events happening, with the main one being Refugee Rhythms- a fundraiser where there is live music, lots of delicious food and local businesses operating stalls. A Christmas party filled with games, raffles and lots of mince pies is also one not to miss. The year finishes with an AGM- homemade cheesecake and a live oud performance were the stars of the show this year!

Cardiff STAR has formed a community: There is a definitely a strong sense of community at Cardiff STAR, which has been formed over years of the conversation classes. Simply talking and getting to know someone, learning about a different culture, language and country is extremely interesting and helps to foster the close environment.

Cardiff STAR has created friendships: With such high numbers every week, it is an amazing way to meet plenty of new people and the friendships formed during the conversations go beyond just the weekly classes. Whilst Cardiff STAR is aimed at university students, we also see graduates who continue coming to the classes, which shows just how deep the friendships run.

Cardiff STAR has enabled education: Everyone can learn something at the conversation classes- students often pick up phrases in other languages, most commonly Arabic, whilst learners improve their English conversational skills. There are people from all over the world, which has definitely helped to improve my geography skills!

If you would like any more information or would like to be added to the WhatsApp group chat for regular updates, then please contact @cardiffstar on Instagram.